The Fate of the Universe Depends on You, Part 3
When I last wrote about this topic in September 2016 (see The Fate of the Universe Depends on You Part 1 and Part 2), I said:
The Information Design Tool makes converting a classic UNV universe into a UNX universe simple. However, there remains the task of updating existing reports to use the new UNX universe.
Back then, I recommended that customers look for partner solutions in the SAP Analytics Extensions Directory (now integrated into the larger SAP App Center). Fast forward to last December’s release of SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence 4.2 SP5 and SAP has provided its own solution as part of a new Automation Framework. I presented a session, also entitled The Fate of the Universe Depends on You, at the recent SAP Insider BI and HANA 2018 conference in Las Vegas about this new feature. Here’s the Cliff Notes version.
The Automation Framework was created to automate routine and repetitive administrative tasks. Converting reports to use UNX is just one example of a repetitive task supported by 4.2 SP5 and we can expect that future service packs will include built-in support for additional tasks. I believe we can also expect partners to create workflows for additional repetitive tasks once an SDK is available for the Automation Framework. Ganesh Duraisamy provides an overview of the Automation Framework and its terminology in his blog, Automation Framework – Concept.
The Automation Framework resides not in the Central Management Console, but a new Fiori-based administration portal called the BI Administration Console, which can be accessed at
http://[server]:[port]/BOE/BIAdminConsole for BI 4.2 SP5 and higher.
SAP has created a couple of very helpful YouTube videos that explain how to configure the Automation Framework and how to create scenarios that convert batches of Web Intelligence reports to use a converted UNX universe instead of the old UNV universe.
How to Configure the Automation Framework – YouTube
How to Change Source of Web Intelligence Documents and Refresh Documents SAP BusinessObjects Business Intelligence Platform – YouTube
You’ll want to bookmark SAP KB 2585412 – BI Administration Console in 4.2 SP05+, as we can expect the BI Administration Console to slowly supersede the Central Management Console as its management areas are given the Fiori treatment. We’ll soon learn what SAP intends to deliver in BI 4.2 SP6 (mid-2018) and SP7 (end of 2018). One can only hope that the portions of the CMC that are Adobe Flash based (like the monitoring dashboard) get Fiori-fied sooner rather than later.
Lastly, remember that the workflow of UNX-based queries through your BI landscape is different than the workflow of UNV-based queries. If you’ve never used UNX universes before, this may be the first time your DSL Bridge service is getting a workout. Multi-source universes also utilize the Data Federation service and the recent addition of set analysis to the BI platform also uses the Set Materialization Service. It might be helpful to review your Adaptive Processing Server configuration as well as SAP KB 1694041 – How do you configure the Adaptive Processing Server (APS) for improved performance and scalability?
UNX adoption is key for organizations who want to use on-premise SAP Lumira Discovery or SAP Lumira Designer (formerly known as Design Studio). It’s also required for bringing universe-based data to SAP Analytics Cloud [ wow – I just noticed that all three of those products were rebranded since I wrote parts one and two of this series ]. The Information Design Tool and its UNX format should be your tool of choice for any new universes your organization creates as you contemplate the best way to upgrade your older UNV universes and reports.
I hope this small series of articles will help you achieve that goal.
Dear Dallas, we are at 4.2.4 and will check on unv2unx conversion - would it be "necessary" or much better to Switch to 4.2.5 first? My tests are not very convincing at the Moment? -The universe security (Overlays) is not part of the conversion?
I'm a big fan of universe security but I did not test its conversion using the BI 4.2 SP4 UNX conversion tools (or the BI 4.2 SP5 Automation Framework, for that matter). While both versions are supported by SAP, I would recommend using the SP5 solution for your testing (or wait until later this year for SP6 to arrive with bug fixes and possibly enhancements).
thanks for this.
Yes, we continue to fix any reported issue and should see some usability and new capabilities in the BI Admin Console in SP6
Thank you for your reply - My Problems were: Special characters within the security names ^^ -double .. ":" is a Special character and therefore the conversion Fails with an error telling the upload failes... - and other Problems are related to different language settinge as german(Germany) and german(Austria) 😉 ...
Thanks for this Dallas.
Could you please also share your view on the future of universe to connect SAP HANA to BOBJ?
It seems that SAP is promoting HTTPS direct connections to HANA from BOBJ. Does it mean that the universe will play a less important role moving forward and could be moved out of the roadmap sometime (like SAP Lumira Discovery) in the future?
Universes on HANA always seemed like an extra step, so it's great that even "classic" tools like Web Intelligence have direct HANA connectivity options. I can't speak for SAP regarding if/when they will no longer permit a universe built on HANA.